Hallam top of the class for being disability confident

Sheffield Hallam University is celebrating after being named a top ‘Disability Confident’ employer.

The University, which employs over 4,000 staff, is one of only two in Sheffield to have achieved the status.

Staff worked with disabled employees to find out how their lives could be improved at work through a survey and discussion groups.

SHU had already attained Level 2 Disability Confident status – the second highest rating – but has now been named a Disability Confident Leader – the top rating.

In order to achieve the status the university had to show evidence of its current policies, support and practice and pledge an ongoing commitment to improving the experiences of disabled staff.

The evidence was verified by an independent external organisation and submitted to the Department of Work and Pensions for approval.

Sally Jackson, director of human resources and organisational development at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “We are delighted that our efforts to provide an inclusive and supportive working environment for our disabled staff have paid off.

“We made a commitment to create a safe and welcoming environment and last year began a piece of work to try and understand the experience of disabled staff at the university.

  “We contacted all staff who declare a disability on their record and asked them a number of questions through a survey and discussion groups.

“We’ve been working hard over the past six months to act upon the feedback we received.”

Three themes emerged – improving transparency of support and information, improving the consistency of support from managers and workplace adjustments and giving disabled staff the confidence to progress and develop.

Sally added: “The work will not stop here. We will be reviewing and updating all guidance available for staff and managers related to disability to include further information relating to reasonable adjustments; we are looking into the introduction of disability work experience placements across the university and we are relaunching our Staff and Disability Network Group.”